Pat Sheehan previews this weekend’s soccer action involving the LDMC, where there’s a number of big games in the FAI Junior Cup.
The open stages of the FAI Junior Cup kick off at the weekend with two of Limerick’s main hopes clashing for a place in the 6th round of the competition. Fairview Rgs have home advantage against Premier League leaders Carew Park in a game that promises to be an exciting affair.
The two sides met already this season, earlier in the campaign and shared the spoils in an exciting 2-2 draw. Since then both sides have been impressive. Carew Park remain unbeaten while Fairview, other than an aberration in the Munster Junior Cup against Hospital, also avoided defeat.
Great credit is due to both clubs who are going through a rebuilding phase and turning out some real talent.
Craig Reddan, Jamie Stewart and Mark McGrath are just three of a host of Fairview youngsters that are bound to be in the top flight for a long stint.
For their part Carew made some shrewd close season signings; none more so than top scorer Jonathan Grant and John Boyle while youngsters Mark Slattery and Jon Somers continue to improve with each outing.
Carew will carry the unenviable tag of favourites into the tie but that will not bother a Fairview team well used to such situations in FAI encounters.
Pike Rvs travel to meet Nenagh AFC in what is sure to be a bruising encounter. The Co Tipperary side went down in the final of the Munster Junior Cup last season to Janesboro and I’m sure Pike’s support for ‘Boro on that day will now stand to them as Nenagh boast much the same panel.
Pike were most impressive in their Munster Champions Cup victory over St Brendan’s Park in Askeaton on Saturday evening.
Manager Declan Considine had the luxury of tinkering with the team selection on that day but I feel come Sunday he ma revert to his tried and tested campaigners.
Nenagh showed against Janesboro they take no prisoners and they will not stand around on ceremony for Pike.
The Limerick side will have to match their opponents in that department and if they do the class of the Pike team should come through.
Mungret Reg have the most difficult assignment as they have to travel to Dublin AUL side Bellurgan FC.
The Co Louth side are lying third in the AUL at present just six points adrift of leaders Killester.
Mungret for their part are a little inconsistent for their own liking in Div 1A but will relish the chance to test their progress against such opposition.
Mark Finucane’s side are well in the running for a return to the top flight so will treat the FAI as a bonus. A good run could get a momentum going that would stand to them over the Christmas break.
There are a number of key games in the Premier League with focus on the fight for survival. On Saturday evening Aisling Annacotty host Shannon Hibs in a virtual six pointer. Aisling have not had a game in over a month while Shannon Hibs antics only brought more woe.
Hibs held ‘Boro scoreless until half time last week but conceded six in the second half.
Aisling will not have the same firepower but should have enough to take the spoils. Kilmallock will think they can take something from their home tie with Corbally Utd as they strive to keep pace with Aisling.
Corbally took a hiding from Balla last week but need to refocus to stay clear of the danger zone.
Regional Utd take on Janesboro with an eye on the upcoming FAI game while Geraldines will look to continue their good form with a victory of a Wembley Rvs side also in need of points.